Beautiful handmade gifts: a guest post by Jessica

handmade sugar scrub and more

Works for me Wednesday

 

Introducing the beautiful designs of

Jessica from Bespangled Jewelry - Jessica also has some wonderful DIY tutorials for lovely gift ideas.

DIY Raspberry Lemon Sugar Scrub

INGREDIENTS:
(per 6-7 oz jar)
1/2 cup (4 oz.) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz.) coconut oil, melted (preferably organic)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp raspberry extract
1/8 to 1/4 tsp lemon extract
red food coloring (optional*)
DIRECTIONS:
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. I suggest starting with an 1/8 teaspoon measure of both the raspberry and lemon extract, and then adding more according to your preference. I think I ended up using a bit more lemon than raspberry.
The raspberry extract may already have some color added to it – mine did but the scrub without it was a much lighter pink than you see here. I used a single drop of red food coloring mixed in at the end to make the color pop a little more.
When your scrub is all mixed up and you’re happy with the scent and the color, spoon it into a jar and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to set the consistency. After you take it out, you don’t have to keep it refrigerated. If the coconut oil returns to its liquid state and you’d like to firm it up, simply place it back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. (Coconut oil remains solid up to 76˚F).

How to use your new homemade sugar scrub: 

Rub wet skin with about a tablespoon of the mixture at a time, in a circular motion until the sugar has dissolved. Repeat all over your body and rinse as normal.

Why give  handmade?

  • Quality – use only the ingredients you choose
  • Personal – handmade gifts are extra special and can be catered for the recipient
  • Frugal – many options for any budget
  • Green – a great way to upcycle empty containers and goods
  • Unique – often one of a kind or uniquely special
  • Small business – the backbone of the American economy, family owned small business deserves our support
  • Love – handmade gifts are full of love -whether you make them yourself or purchase from someone who has

Handmade Gifts – Work for Me! 

 

See other tutorials on Bespangled Jewelry here : Homemade Lemon Butter Lip & Skin Balm 

homemade lip balm

 

Jessica isn’t just a talented DIY’er with wonderful gifts you can make at home – she’s a talented jewelry designer! Visit her cute little Etsy shop today to buy unique and beautiful handmade Christmas gifts for your loved ones. Go here to Jessica’s shop

handmade bespangled bracelet

Our BIG Sale for the Friday – Monday and  GREEN Tuesday ends soon  -See Details HERE and Enter our GIVEAWAY

 

Guest Post — Cash is Hiding in Your Home!

Cash Is Hiding In Your Home - www.Econobusters.com

© Les Cunliffe | Dreamstime.com

Cash is hiding in your home, and we don’t mean the couch cushions

You calculate and budget for your mortgage and monthly utility bills, but the unexpected expenses really begin to add up! You can coupon clip and check couch cushions for quarters, but true moneymakers in your home might just be hiding right in front of you.

So if you’re packing your lunch, making your own coffee, and using home remedy cleansers instead of the expensive products at the grocery store, but still feel like your home is costing you more than you would like, check out our tips to see where cash is likely hiding in your home.

Here are some easy ways to save money in your home that may not have crossed your mind:

Sell your cell

If you’re looking to upgrade your phone, tablet, iPod, etc., but don’t have the cash, look into trading in your old ones! Businesses such as NextWorth make it easier to upgrade to the latest gadgets by offering top dollar for used electronics, regardless of their condition. To get a quote on your outdated gadgets, visit www.nextworth.com. Not only are you saving money by recycling your old products, but you’re saving the environment too!

Toasting your dollars

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, anywhere from 5-10 percent of residential electricity is used by devices that are plugged in 24 hours a day. Even when your appliances and electronics are turned off, they’re still using energy, costing you money in the long run! By simply unplugging the household appliances you aren’t using, you can save money! Start by unplugging these energy-wasters: toasters, lamps, coffeemakers, DVD players, stereos and radios, televisions and desktop/laptop computers.

Dimes in the dryer

While rummaging through the dryer for loose change might earn you a quick 50 cents, there is now an even simpler way to save money when using your large appliances and electronics. Enervee, an energy-smart scoring platform, ranks products based on their energy efficiency. By learning the “Enervee Score” for each large appliance in your home, you can see exactly which product(s) is sucking the most electricity, and therefore money out of your home each month. In some cases, it may be more cost-efficient in the long run to buy a new, energy-efficient product than continue to use your current model. Enervee can help you make those buying decisions and save some serious cash.

Filter for savings

A dirty air filter in your car can cost you up to 7 percent of your gas mileage! By taking five minutes to clean your filter at home, you’re increasing your car’s overall fuel efficiency. Don’t know how to clean your car’s filter? Follow these easy steps and save money on your car! It is recommended to do this every 5,000 miles to keep your car’s fuel efficiency at an all-time high.

Eliminate bills to get bills

Cell phone companies are notorious for charging you fees that you had no idea existed. Take the time to go through your next cell phone bill, and look for any services you don’t use or charges you don’t understand. By calling your service provider you can often easily drop these fees, saving you more money monthly! And if you decide to change phone carriers, consider a no-contract, pre-paid plan such as Solavei, which has no hidden fees and costs just $49 per month for unlimited text, talk and data.

Ways of the web

Take advantage of this crazy thing we call the Internet. Downgrade to basic cable (or none)—you can watch all of your shows for free on the web! Simplify your life and bills by using the Internet for all its worth.

Now that you’ve saved all this money at home, don’t go spend it all at once! You will only reap the benefits of these tips by becoming more disciplined in your saving and finances. Stay up-to-date with the trends of the economy, keep a do-it-yourself mindset and always think twice about your purchases!

 

72-HOUR Patriotic Sale on Molly Green Annual Memberships — only $29.99!

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…from Molly, Midge & Econobusters

We all know that freedom isn’t free. So, I want to start this message out by thanking all those — past and present — who have sacrificed so much for our future freedoms! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! 

On a slightly different note, learning to be more frugal and cooking better for our families comes at a price too. We always try to keep the costs of our resources affordable, because we care! We’re right there with you in the trenches learning and stretching ourselves every day. We know so many of you are one-income families, or struggling through job-loss, or maybe you’re just trying to keep your head above water since the economy took a dive in the last few years. Molly Green Magazine and Econobusters.com was BORN for such a time as this.

Our founders wanted to pass on what they were learning and how it was making a huge difference in their families on many different levels. We have continued that vision to this day and our honest desire is that Econobusters.com continues to be a safe community where you will glean information from our team and each other while also sharing your own successes and failures with others who have the same goal — to provide a loving and nurturing home for our kids while also teaching them to “leave the nest” and fly, well-equipped to do the same for their own future family.

As usual, Midge and I have lots of exciting things in the works for Molly Green Magazine and www.Econobusters.com and we’re really looking forward to sharing those with you all in the very near future.
So… why else am I writing you today??? Well, we want to offer you a 72-Hour Special on our Molly Green Annual Memberships. 
   

From now until

11:59 pm Sunday, July 7th, 

purchase a one-year

Molly Green membership 

for only $29.99!

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Our regular price for a yearly subscription is just over $46.00 (or $3.85/month), so this is a substantial discount. If you’re already a yearly subscriber, we can just tack on another year when that one expires. If you’re an on-going monthly subscriber, we can stop those automatic payments and switch you to the yearly membership. We rarely do these deeply discounted specials — so take advantage now!

Why would you want to subscribe yearly as opposed to monthly?

  • Money savings – over $16.00 less than our normal yearly rate
  • Immediate access to ALL back issues of Molly Green Magazine from 2009 to present.
  • A whole year of future Molly Green Magazines and other Molly products produced throughout the coming year.
  • Immediate access to FIVE bonus E-Books packed with information (Over $40.75 Value!):

After all is said and done, 

you are getting almost

$90 worth of products 

for only $29.99 — A 66% discount!

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Guest Post — Don’t Lose Your Head On Summer Vacation!

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Yup, it’s that time of year again – school’s out and the kiddos are home 24/7! Are we having fun yet? Some of you may even be fortunate enough to be planning some time away. But did you know that you can go on vacation AND use the time to provide an educational boost as well? Here are some tips to make sure they don’t “lose their heads” – or at least their brains – while out of school.

  • Prepare ahead of time by doing research. Check the internet or write to the Chamber of Commerce and find interesting and educational places to visit at your destination.  See if any of them correlate to your children’s interests, and you’ll be getting off to a great start!
  • Use your vacation to study a specific them or topic. One year a friend of ours planned their summer travels around historic and notable places around the state. After their kids had already spent the year learning about these locals in books, they were super excited to get some hands-on and real-life experiences, as these historic sites became real to them!
  • Always include a journal or diary assignment of some sort. Even non-writers can dictate a few thoughts for you to write down, and anyone can illustrate or add pictures from flyers or postcards. Starting a collection along the way gives them opportunities to arrange them or prepare a display when they get home. This not only helps to strengthen vacation memories but reinforces the educational aspect of the time away.
  • If you need some ideas of how to get started, take a look at what I have used with my own family on more than one occasion –> http://bit.ly/L5lcdG

Need a break but can’t “get out of Dodge”? No worries! “Staycations” are becoming more and more popular in this economy. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of a memorable vacation in your own backyard:

  • Take a break from technology – turn off the cell-phones, ipods, computer…and just focus on enjoying each other and your time together
  • Be unavailable to others – remember, you’re on vacation, so act like it!
  • Resolve to stay out of the kitchen! Eat out (as much as your budget allows), grill out or cook over an open fire (just be aware of any applicable local ordinances)
  • Plan activities you wouldn’t normally do, whether they happen in your backyard, your own town, or a nearby city, park or museum.
  • Pull out a local map and come up with new places to visit that are within a “doable” distance (take into account spending time getting there and getting back home!)

If you’re like me and enjoy a good book, try out some of these for some more ideas:

Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking by Jim Arnosky 

The Great American Staycation by Matt Wixon

Backyard Vacations: Outdoor fun in your own neighborhood by Carolyn Haas, et al. 

To paraphrase an oft-used saying: “the family that learns together, stays together”! Whether you travel far and wide this summer or stay home-sweet-home, may you have fun times and many happy family moments…together!

Pat FennerPat Fenner has been homeschooling her 5 children for 17 years, and writes on education and family topics on her website, Help 4 Your Homeschool. She reviews books as part of the Christian Women Affiliate’s “Review Crew”, writes guest-posts on related blogs and periodically contributes to Econobusters. You can read her piece entitled “From Fear to Flight” in an anthology published by the Gulf Coast Writers’ Association, due out this summer. She can be reached via email at Pat@Help-4-Your-Homeschool.com

 

 

 

Guest Post — Finding Contentment in Living Simply

finding contentment photo for blogThanks to the “new economy”, more of us than ever are having to live simply. Many families are doing things they never thought they’d do – cutting coupons, getting rid of cable television, trading down cars or houses, and even living with relatives. Many of us are used to nicer lifestyles where we could afford a few indulgences or luxuries, so this step down might be a bit of a culture shock. The question is: How can we become content with a simple life?

We’re going through some of these same changes in our own family and we’ve had our own ups and downs with accepting our new economic reality, so I wanted to share some of the tips we’ve found to be helpful as we adjust to a simpler way of living.

Stay busy.

Personally, I do great at following our budget when I’m busy. When I’m bored, I tend to seek out activities that cost money such as shopping or eating out regularly. The more engaged I am with our family, though, the more content I am with a simple family dinner or an afternoon at the park.

Re-establish what’s important.

Refocusing on the things that are most important to us is a big help when we’re trying to cultivate contentment. For our family, these priorities are our worship, our time as a family, and our commitment to homeschooling. When we weigh up any leisure activities or luxuries against these three priorities, it’s pretty easy to know which to choose.

Save, don’t skimp.

This last tip may seem like a bit of a contradiction, but I think there’s a fine line to walk here. Our goal is to save money, not to skimp on necessities or occasional wants. For example, we have four children, so we have to spend a considerable amount of money on groceries. At first, I tried to pare our grocery budget down to the absolute minimum in an attempt to save as much money as possible. Guess what happened? We ended up eating out more than ever because everybody was hungry. Now I know that it’s more important to save money by buying less expensive items than to skimp on the amount of food we actually need to eat.

Choose your associates wisely.

Even if you’re sticking to the above three tips faithfully, they may not be enough to help you cope with another kind of temptation: the temptation to become jealous of the life others are living. If you’re spending time with friends and family members who regularly spend money on activities you can’t afford, it can be difficult not to feel envious of their supposed “freedom.” We try to seek out friends who are living simply as well so that we aren’t invited to do things that are outside of our budget. We also explain our financial goals to others if we know we can’t afford an activity – without feeling embarrassed or frustrated. Rather than dwelling on what others are doing, we try to search out things that we know we can do together, which counteracts any of the resentment we could feel.

selena robinson picSelena is a former tax accountant-turned-homeschooling mom of four. She and her husband, Jay, have committed themselves to homeschooling their children in an effort to give them the very best education possible and to strengthen their bond as a family. Selena shares her family’s homeschooling adventures every weekday at Look! We’re Learning! Readers can keep up with the family by subscribing via email or by following Look! We’re Learning! on PinterestFacebookTwitter, or Google+.

 

Guest Post: 5 Easy Ways To Save Money On Your Energy Bills This Summer


© Brad Calkins | Dreamstime.com

As summer approaches, many of us are dreading the upcoming electric bills. Because cooling a house requires so much energy, most of us will most likely experience an increase in our energy costs during the warmer months. Thankfully, there are ways to lower the financial burden by reducing the amount of energy we consume:

Have the HVAC unit inspected and cleaned

Because your air conditioning unit draws more power from the grid than any other single source within your home, it is important to make sure it is operating optimally. Inspections and cleanings usually entail examining ducts for leaks and cleaning the unit itself. In addition to having the unit cleaned, homeowners should also keep the air filters inside the home clean. Most filters require a monthly change. However, some filters last from three to six months.

Switch light bulbs

You should also consider swapping your traditional incandescent bulbs for the newer more energy efficient LED bulbs. These energy Star compliant light bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy and last 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs. In addition, the increase in consumer awareness of energy efficiency has prompted designers to turn to LED lighting a lot more making the switch to light emitting diode bulbs one of the kitchen and bath trends to watch this year.

Install a programmable thermostat

You probably don’t want to have your AC struggling to keep your house a frigid 65 degrees all day if you are going to be at work or out running errands. However, you also don’t want to come home to a furnace either. This is doubly true if you have kids or pets that will be in doors all day.

With programmable thermostats, you can set them to automatically adjust the temperature in your home, up or down, by remote or at predetermined time an interval which consequently, reduces the amount of energy you use to cool your home. In addition, the newer Wi-Fi enabled thermostats allow you to use your smartphone to adjust your home’s heating and cooling when tied to a cloud-based web service like EnergyHub.

Install blinds or roman shades

It is a well-known fact that a large majority of the heat entering our homes comes through the windows. In order to reduce or even eliminate this you may want to install roman shades or mini-blinds. This one simple act can greatly reduce the amount of heat entering a home thus reducing the costs of cooling your home by reducing the length of time your AC needs to be running.

Consider a fixed rate energy plan

Another way to help govern your energy costs during the summer is to consider participating in a fixed rate electricity plan. With a contract electricity plan, you lock in a certain rate per kilowatt for a stretch of time that does not fluctuate from month to month or during seasonal spikes. Some energy suppliers will even send email and text alert to their customers when they are using more power than anticipated.

In many parts of the country, the summer months result in some of the highest energy bills of the year. Many of us in some way dread the summer months for just that reason. I mean let’s be realistic, in today’s economy the choice between paying our electric bill on time and still having enough to put gas in the car for the rest of the pay period can be all too real for too many of us nowadays.

About the author:

Alex Goodwin is a writer, husband, father and aspiring novelist. When he isn’t writing for HomeDaddys or completing chores from his “honey- do” list, he’s most likely spending quality time with his wife and kids or working on his novel.

Members Only Monday

hWell, it’s February. We’re full swing into the new year, and I’m busy organizing, planning, and scheduling everything!

As a busy mom, I don many hats: wife, mom, teacher, accountant, maid, chef, chaperone, and bus driver. The fun never stops around here! However, in order for everything to run on schedule and smoothly, everything must be well organized and planned out.

Tax Time and Budgeting For The Year

I’ve just sent in my income tax statement and I know I should get a refund check in about 5 weeks, around the middle of March. This year’s refund is about the same as last year’s. Being a big family, we depend greatly on that refund to help supplement our income for the year.

Last year, we took an out of state trip and fitted one child for contacts. The total of those expenses took about $1000 from our yearly budget and savings. Although that may not seem like much, that extra $1000 expenditure made things very tight for us during the last few months. I will be glad to see that IRS refund this year and plan to use it, or “not use it” wisely. I don’t want to be in a tight bind, financially, this time next year.

Plan It All Out
In order to do this we must budget well. This year, I have a child who will not only be starting dual credit at the community college, but also gets her driver’s license and will be spending a week this summer at our local university for String (Violin) Camp. Whew! This will all be figured into the yearly budget. To budget accordingly, we have to plan the whole year out. We’ll sit down with our calendar and make a list of events and expenditures we already know about this year. Those amounts will be figured into our yearly budget so that there will be no surprises or short comings when the need arises.

Molly The Debt Free Frugalista

In this month’s issue of The Molly Green Magazine, I share with you strategies for saving money, living on a budget, getting out of debt, and being debt free.

Also, we talk about being content, enjoying what you have, living within your means and learning to minimize, recycle, and reuse. It’s not always easy being a frugalista. Sometimes it means just doing without. However, sometimes it’s just a matter of figuring how to get the things my family needs in creative ways.

All our needs are provided for and we live well within our means. That gives me a sense of accomplishment and a desire to share what I’ve learned with all of you.

I hope you will enjoy this month’s magazine. Take a little time each day to read over all the articles. Bake up a batch of pancakes with your DIY Baking mix. Sew a comfy new bed for the family cat and spend some time asking yourself, ” Are you content?” and ” How can I enjoy my life and family more?” Make the most of every moment and share with others your experiences and what you’ve learned.
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Share a Copy
“Do you know someone that is struggling to make ends meet? Do they need help learning to budget, becoming debt free or finding affordable health insurance and medical care options?

Show them this magazine and let them know we’re here to help. As always, they can get their own copy for just $4.95 a month or become Molly Members for a yearly price of just $3.85 a month. Becoming a Molly Member will gain them access to all of the wonderful money saving, debt busting, economy- busting resources Molly has shared with you. Pass it On!

Pantry Challenge & Budget Check-Up

Budget Check Up
Well, here it is the end of January, and I thought I would pop in and see how everyone is doing at the pantry challenge and improving their family and household budgets.

I challenged our readers on January 1st and 2nd to Build a Better Budget and take the Pantry Challenge. Did you take my challenge on? How are you doing?

The Envelope System

Concerning Building a Better Budget, many of you that I spoke with this month say you are using Dave Ramsey’s Envelope System.

For those that don’t know what that is, here is a brief explanation: You budget your monthly income into categories.
For example, let’s say you budget $100 a week for food, $50 a week for gas, and $50 a week for fun and entertainment.

Each week, you would have 3 envelopes in your purse: one for groceries, one for gas and one for fun. If you spend all your grocery money on Monday, at the beginning of the week, you can’t pull out your checkbook to buy more. You must wait until the next week and new allotment of cash in your envelope.

Using this system is definitely a life-changer for some that have grown accustomed to getting what they want when they want. It takes discipline and it will take time getting used to the idea of budgeting, doing without, and sometimes waiting for what you want.

I’ll Have A Side of Beef Please

On the topic of food, I was very surprised to find out how many of you are now raising your own sources of meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Others of you are taking advantage of the farms and co-ops around you. Way to Go!

If you have the means to raise your own chickens, cows, or goats, that in itself seems to be gratifying as you provide for your family by your hands and living within your means.

For those of us that do not have that option, for whatever reason, we are finding we can network with area farms to purchase butchered whole cows or sides of beef at a better price, and getting a better product.

This type of purchase does require a little planning because you will have to have a large freezer or freezers to hold such a large purchase. If you need another freezer, be sure to scout out the classified ads, garage sales, Craigslist and FREECYCLE.org.

Co-Ops Bartering and Wholesale Clubs

Another way to save while stocking up is to join a co-op and/or warehouse club.

As I was looking, I discovered a bartering and farmer’s market Facebook group for my area! In fact, it was humorous. One gentleman posted this past week, “I will barter most anything I have 17″ tv, books, ducks, or women’s clothes for some homemade canned tomatoes or salsa. Maybe you have a bit extra? “ I just thought that was too funny!

Check-Up Time

So overall, how you doing? Are you saving more money now than you did a month ago? Are you learning new ways to get what you need or want within your budget and your means? Have you set a financial or personal goal that is the driving force behind all of this work? Has it been worth it? Do you see positive results?

I hope so. Together, may we all work toward becoming better Econobusters – busting free from this economy, and all the financial stresses that can plague it. May you learn ways to save, live abundantly and enjoy everything life has to offer!

What Do You Have to Say?

Thank you, dear reader, for being a loyal and dedicated fan. I love that I am able to network daily with each of you as we strive to live better and save more. However, I also enjoy reading your comments and feedback on how Midge and I are doing at helping you along your way. Please take a moment to tell me how you are doing at building a better budget and conquering your pantry and monthly food costs. Are there obstacles you are struggling with. Is there a certain topic you’d like to see us address in future blogs. Please drop us a line and comment in the section below.

Laundry Schmaundry

Guest Blog by: Midge

My husband is very helpful around the house. He has to travel often and works long hours but when he is at home, he always offers to lend a hand with chores and watching the wee one. On one random Thursday (last week), he saw our laundry pile was looking quite diminished and decided that instead of adding his clothes to the baskets; he was going to put them right into the washing machine.

Our new economy-sized laundry soap container was sitting on the floor next to the dryer covered with a few pieces of clothes. (The clothes had just “dove” out of the laundry basket on their way to the washing machine.)  Not seeing the laundry soap immediately, he assumed we were out of soap. He loudly raised his voice and shared that we were out of soap. Then he asked if he could he use the bottle of Clorox instead. You can already see where this is going, right?

Of course, I responded from the kitchen, over the rush of water flowing into the washing machine, that Clorox was bleach unless the bottle specifically says that you can use it on colors (like: Clorox 2). Five minutes later, he bounded into the kitchen, proud of himself for helping out by doing his load of wash. It was then we realized that he had not heard me correctly and had used bleach in the load, which contained everything but white clothes.

It actually only really ruined two shirts. But, ugh… talk about a laundry learning curve! My husband and I had a good laugh and he told me I just had to share it with you!

Have you ever made a laundry mistake like this? Is there any way to repair a shirt that has been bleached? My husband is thinking of making the shirts have an acid wash jeans kind of effect like those “rad” jeans from the 80’s. What are your favorite kinds of laundry products?  How have you saved money while doing your laundry?

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Learning to Save Money on Almost Everything, Especially at Christmas Time!

Financially, times are tough. Everywhere you look, stores are closing, prices are rising, and great deals are getting harder and harder to find.

We here at Econobusters understand everyone needs a helping hand. That’s one of our main principles, everyone working together to bust through these hard economic times!

Easy Ways to Save Money

Search the weekly ads and use coupons. Most grocery ads come out every Wednesday and retail ads come out on Sundays. The age of the giant Sunday newspaper full of ads and coupons has almost passed us by. Now days, you might find good deals in the Sunday paper, but your best bet is to hit the web. One of the best ad websites for supermarkets and retail chains is SundaySaver.com. They post links to almost all of the national chain stores.

Have you read The Coupon Craze: Chaos or Common Cents issue of Molly Green Magazine? Check it out!

Major Coupon Networks and Companies

Most coupon lovers are familiar with the  inserts found in the Sunday newspaper. The three main companies that provide these coupons are Smart Source, Red Plum, and Proctor & Gamble. All three companies also provide coupons online. Providing printable coupons on the Internet makes collecting and sharing coupons with others very simple. In fact, one website, Coupons.com, usually hosts them all in one place.

Make Shopping a Game

Create a monthly challenge. Each month, make it a goal to save more than the month before. Find ways to collect more coupons, stack more deals, and earn more rebates. Over time, shoppers learn pricing and predict when items will go on sale. Look for deals all year long: garage sales, thrift stores, second hand stores, Goodwill, and Salvation Army.

Don’t Forget FREE and FREEBIES

You might begin by signing up for your local Freecycle group. Anytime you need something for yourself, the home, or the kids, ask your Freecycle group first. This is an easy way to receive TVs, electronics, small appliances, clothes, toys, and books. You can also list things you no longer need on this group!

Speaking of books, we all know about Amazon, but occasionally, you can find what you want for free on Paperback Swap. You post the books you no longer want. Other people request those books from you. You mail a book to that person, (at your cost), and then you get to pick a book to be mailed to you! If the book you are looking for isn’t listed, check Deal Oz. This website does the book searching for you and finds the best deals on the web for books, CDs and DVDs.

Lastly, you might be interested in these points incentive programs: MyPoints, Swagbucks, and Amazon. You can earn points toward free gift cards simply by reading MyPoints daily emails, (no purchase required). If you use Swagbucks as your search engine, you also can earn points toward free gift cards, but it’s not as easy as MyPoints. Amazon has started a new incentive program where you agree to review products. If you are chosen. They send you the products free of charge to keep!!! It’s called the Amazon Vine. Check it out!

What great deals have you found that save money, especially during the holidays?

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